If you were asked to name a few things Crazy Rich Asians care about, dollar signs, luxury goods and lucrative property investments might come top of your list. But some of the widely recognised moneyed elite have greater goals. Over the years, these inspiring women from different industries have been devoting their time, effort and resources to fund genuine change, and to address social issues from inequality to sustainability. In celebration of International Women’s Day, on March 8, we take a look at five Hong Kong divas making a difference with their money.
According to Forbes, Pansy Ho is one of Hong Kong’s 50 richest people in 2021. Performing several influential roles in her father Stanley Ho’s business – managing director of Shun Tak Holdings, and co-chairperson and executive director of MGM China Holdings to name just two – she makes thoughtful use of her annual earnings in support of well-known organisations including the Aids charity amfAR and the Our Hong Kong Foundation. Spreading a message of equal work opportunities and education for women via conferences, events and social media, she has often spoken out as not just an entrepreneur, but also the chairperson of the Hong Kong Federation of Women.
With an estimated net worth of HK$70 billion (US$9 billion), Kimbee Chan Hoi-wan doesn’t just shop for bling and Hermès birkins. In fact, she has been very active in her husband Joseph Lau’s charitable trust, and worked closely with different local organisations to secure as many resources as possible during Covid-19. Chan also invited her celebrity friends Sammi Cheng, Louis Koo and others to distribute care packages to the elderly and people with disabilities in 2020.
After marrying tycoon Julian Hui, model and actress Michele Reis founded the JMJ Children’s Charitable Foundation in 2011, which focuses not just on children, but also elderly people and pets that have been made homeless. In the past, she’s cleverly used her birthday as a reason to ask her supporters to donate to those in need as a gift to her. What better way to promote positive influence and togetherness on social media?
When we think of Hong Kong women in the modern age, Emily Lam-ho is definitely top of our list. Why? Because she manages to juggle being a mother of two with being director of business development at Sing Tao News Corporation, co- founder of EcoDrive Hong Kong and founder of new sustainability concept 8Shades. A strong advocate for the environment, she has also partnered with brands including Chloe, Anya Hindmarch, HSBC and others to promote women’s empowerment. In her spare time, she has often hosted socially conscious activities like beach cleaning.
Cathy Chui Lee was the first Asian Patron of Save the Children. Besides regular donations to those less fortunate than her, she is often spotted at local and global events for Aids charities including the Chi Heng foundation and amfAR. A glance at Chui Lee’s Instagram also shows the mother of three making visits to countries like Nepal and Jordan with Save The Children. It’s one thing to sponsor research and resources, quite another to visit the country in question and be an active volunteer alongside your own family. Brava!